In 1985, two novice moviemakers, director David Anspaugh and writer/producer Angelo Pizzo, began filming Hoosiers. They and their cast and crew faced the pressures of a short schedule, a small budget, and other challenges. Yet buoyed by the support of countless Indiana residents, they overcame their own self-doubt and the skepticism of outsiders to create a classic. This website showcases rare images from and not-widely-known facts about this much-loved movie.
The filmmakers had hoped that at least half the audience would be older than 25, to ensure that they would receive opinions from viewers of many different ages. However, 70% of the moviegoers, recruited mostly from beaches and shopping malls, were younger than 20. Screenwriter/producer Angelo Pizzo feared that these youthful West Coast surfer types couldn’t relate to his movie about 1950s Indiana basketball and rural life.
But the sneak preview went spectacularly well, Pizzo said, scoring the highest preview rating in the history of Orion Pictures. This fact came as a huge relief to Pizzo and director David Anspaugh, who had felt throughout production that the movie wasn’t turning out well. That an audience different from typical Indiana residents had embraced Hoosiers was the filmmakers’ first indication that, to their astonishment, they might just have a hit on their hands.
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